New Delhi [India], July 29 (ANI): A Delhi Court recently directed the Director General (DG) of Prison Tihar to install CCTV cameras in the rooms of Jail Superintendents and Deputy Jail superintendents. The court has also directed the DG to file the compliance report.
While directing DG prison the court observed “Installation of CCTV Cameras in offices of Superintendent /Deputy Superintendent in Jails would rather dispel any false allegations against jail officials. It will further reflect transparency in the functioning of these offices.”
This direction has been passed in view of allegations of the beating of an inmate in the room of the deputy jail superintendent on March 27, 2022.
Additional Sessions Judge Sonu Agnihotri of Saket Court said, “I direct DG, Prisons, Tihar Jail to get installed CCTV cameras inside offices of Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent and to preserve CCTV recording as done for other parts of the jail as per rules/procedures.”
The court rejected the submission made in a report filed by jail authorities regarding the installation of CCTV cameras in the room/office of the Superintendent /Deputy Superintendent is often used to host dignitaries/visitors including Judicial Officers (Jail Visiting Judges) and Senior Officers of the government/ other external agencies who visit the Jails and have a meeting with the officials of the Jail.
It was further mentioned that Legal Interviews of inmates/interviews of Foreign inmate with their consulates, interrogation of the inmate by police officers with prior approval of Learned Trial Court etc. are also conducted in the rooms of the Deputy Superintendent/Superintendent.
It was also further mentioned that similarly, the room of the Deputy Superintendent (Internal) is also used for several other purposes like meeting with the NGOs, visit of Secretaries of Legal Service Authority, visit of celebrities/invitees as chief guests of various functions to boost the morale of inmates and also occupied for several cultural/spiritual programs in Jails.
It was mentioned that in light of such facts, it is opined that installing CCTV cameras in rooms of Superintendent/Deputy Superintendent would not be advisable.
The court said allegations of beating of accused Monu in jail have surfaced twice in the office of the Deputy Superintendent of the concerned Jail. In some other cases also, similar allegations have come to notice of this court.
“If dignitaries/Judges/ senior government officers visit Jail and offices of Superintendent /Deputy Superintendent are used to host them, this cannot be a reason not to install CCTV cameras inside such offices. So far as interrogation of inmates by police officials/legal interviews of inmates is concerned, it should also not be a reason for not getting installed CCTV cameras in the offices of Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent concerned, the court said.
The Court observed, “Nowadays, proceedings of courts not only at subordinate level but also of highest court of the Country can be viewed by the general public while sitting in the comfort of their houses which fact reflects nothing but transparency in the functioning of courts around India.
This court is not insisting on audio recording in these offices but even if dignitaries visit these offices with regard to their official functioning, the same should not be a reason not to install the same in these offices. Further, ultimate control of these CCTV cameras will remain in hands of jail authorities and no outside person without permission of jail authorities will be able to see the same in a routine manner.
In case, allegations of the beating of UTPs again come inside these offices, the truth will come to the fore easily. Lot of precious time of courts around Delhi will be saved and lot of time and energy of jail authorities will also be saved by the installation of CCTV cameras inside the offices of Superintendent /Deputy Superintendent, the court said.
Let a copy of this order be sent to DG, Prisons for compliance. Let compliance report be filed by DG, Prisons, Tihar Jail on next date of hearing on August 29, 2022, the court said.
The court has also directed to produce CCTV of March 27, 2022 concerning accused Monu on the next date of hearing, the court order of July 25 reads. (ANI)
The applicant accused moved an application through Advocate Mohd. Arif alleging that he was beaten in the office of Deputy superintendent of jail number 8/9 on March 27, 2022 by hanging him on an iron Jhoola. This iron Jhoola must be visible in the CCTV footage.
He had also submitted that he was beaten over an hour after tying him to iron Jhoola. He had requested for calling of CCTV footage. He said that he in an inquiry conducted by the jail officials has stated this fact.
The court had on June 4, 2022 directed the jail authorities to file a status report.
Jail officials filed a report stating that Warder Krishan Maan has already been transferred from Jail No. 8/9 to Jail No. 11, through an order and no further action seems warranted against him. (ANI)